Game On!: Tales of Monkey Island
"You fight like a dairy farmer!"
If you know the correct answer to this taunt - "How appropriate. You fight like a cow!" - then you're probably a Monkey Island fan. The original game, unveiled in 1990, inspired a generation of gamers to use that insult.
Tales of Monkey Island captures the classic feel of Monkey Island games, though it doesn't have quite the punch - or great lines - of previous installments. It's a family-friendly title that, like the best Warner Bros. cartoons, will entertain children and adults alike.
The new game continues the misadventures of the hapless Guybrush Threepwood, a Mighty Pirate, and his foil, the undead pirate LeChuck.
Once a young man who set out to make his name and claim his rightful position as the preeminent pirate of his day, Threepwood returns to the forefront in this latest humorous and puzzle-filled adventure.
Set some time after the last game, 2000's Escape from Monkey Island, Tales finds Guybrush's world changed after LeChuck's latest attempt to steal away his lovely and competent wife Elaine and defeat our bumbling hero goes askew.
Instead of defeating the undead villain, Guybrush unwittingly releases a plague that seems to be transforming pirates across the Caribbean into zombie-like monsters.
While this may sound like a dark and serious plot, rest assured that the game is in fact a witty, well-scripted and often challenging adventure title that's not afraid to poke fun at popular culture.
Much of the game recalls the old adventure-game format, with players guiding Guybrush as he talks with the inhabitants of Flotsam Island and attempts to resolve comical situations and puzzles through dialogue choices and a simple item-combination system.
New chapters will be released monthly on PC; purchasing the game for $35 online entitles players to all five episodes for download upon release. The Wii version will be priced individually when it's released in the next few weeks.
Those hoping for a return to the game that started it all can also look forward to the release of Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition on the Xbox 360 and PC later this summer. The updated classic now features a fully voice-acted script as well as new graphics and interface, with the ability to switch back to the original version on the fly.
"Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal"
System: Windows PC, Nintendo Wii
Price: $35 (for the entire series)
Rated: E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older
Who Should Buy It?: Mighty pirates and scallywags
GameOn! Grade: A
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